Comedian, internet celebrity and mesothelioma patient Quincy Jones recently took a brave and bold step to raise awareness for the malignant disease caused by asbestos exposure. Jones spoke out about his struggle with mesothelioma June 2 in his one-hour HBO special “Quincy Jones: Burning the Light.”
Diagnosed with stage IV mesothelioma in 2015, Quincy was told by doctors that he had a year to live. Right after diagnosis, the comedian began chemotherapy and his friends set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for him to host a stand-up special. Ever since, the comedian has remained staged to raise awareness about mesothelioma.
“Burning the Light is seeing the light, acknowledging it and ignoring it – and moving forward,” Jones said in a promotion video before the show.
His story went viral when Quincy Jones was invited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show last March.
“There is no cancer when I am on that stage,” said the 31-year-old comedian to the audience at the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles, as reported by The Mesothelioma Center. “It is only me telling my jokes. You can deal with the cancer before and you can deal with it after. But on that stage, I’m cancer-free.”
Typical of Jones, he made jokes – including about his mesothelioma diagnosis and the chemotherapy that followed.
“So last year I was sick, and I didn’t have health insurance, so I did what everyone else does. I did WebMD, and I self-diagnosed myself,” said Jones who also found humor in stomach pain and nausea. “I thought it was celiac disease, and let me tell how you relieved I am to find out it is cancer — I can eat regular pasta again!”
Nothing was outside the bounds of humor – he even compared chemo side effects to pregnancy mood swings: “Going through chemo, I realize it’s the closest thing a man could get to relating to a woman going through pregnancy – I have the same mood swings, the same food cravings, same non-sensible logic that they have when they go through it.”
Instead of facing the mesothelioma diagnosis as a death sentence, Jones turned his life toward pursuing his dreams and aspirations. The comedian had to adjust his schedules and adapt to a new life-style, but mesothelioma will not limit his life.
“I want to tell people that you have to continue living your life,” he said.
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